EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Ludovic Le Moan, co-founder and CEO of Sigfox, said a recent deal with Telefonica will offer the operator’s customers a best of both worlds approach to Internet of Things services.
Le Moan (pictured) told Mobile World Live the agreement enables Telefonica to use cellular-based IoT infrastructure operating in licensed spectrum to provide high-bandwidth services, and Sigfox’s proprietary low-power, wide-area (LPWA) IoT network running in unlicensed spectrum for less bandwidth-intensive services.
“Some use cases require very low bandwidth, because the constraint is very tough in terms of energy” and the costs involved. “But sometimes you have to connect devices that require higher bandwidth”, Le Moan said.
The partnership agreement, signed in the run up to Mobile World Congress, also provides Telefonica with an alternative in the event it hits “trouble with the Wi-Fi, LTE-M or 4G” infrastructure. Le Moan said having the ability to offer a backup “can bring out a value”.
The executive said the deal with Telefonica is a sign the operator realises “they need to collaborate with LPWA” rather than view companies like Sigfox as competitors. “It’s better to have a complementary solution to provide more opportunities for the IoT market.”
Emerging cellular IoT technologies including NB-IoT and LTE-MTC LPWA technology (LTE-M) are “a way to improve some GSM solutions” by cutting the cost and energy consumption. However, Le Moan was confident the emerging technologies remain “too expensive or too energy consuming” to compete in the space Sigfox carved out for itself in LPWA IoT.
Click here to access the full interview.